Jenni Pulos has rapped about everything from bullying to brushing your teeth, and her audience is about to get a whole new look at potty training.
Bravo TV's "Flipping Out" star, who works as executive assistant to real estate guru Jeff Lewis, is teaching her own daughter, 2-year-old Alianna, to—as her song says—"Poo in the Potty." In an effort to make the process less scary for the potty-seat set, Pulos has turned that catchy kids' rap into a music video, debuting August 19 on mom.me and "Flipping Out."
We caught up with the multitasking, working mom, who told us what's happening on the reality show's finale, her parenting advice for future dads Lewis and boyfriend Gage Edward, and the rappers she'd like to collaborate with.
You're debuting your music video "Poo in the Potty" from your kids' rap album"Old School Kids Beats"on mom.me and Bravo TV series "Flipping Out." What motherhood challenges helped inspire it?
First, out of the gate, I bought the potty and just placed it on the floor. I thought the princess potty would be inspiring with the tunes—absolutely good for nothing. But I think the song has motived her to be thinking about it. And I will say with the filming of the video, she's not scared of the big potty anymore, so I look at it as a huge success.
Does your daughter sing along to "Poo in the Potty"?
I'll say, "Poo on the floor?," and then she says, "No chance!" So she likes it, and it probably seems that I force her to like it, but I didn't. I actually did give her the "Poo" challenge—let her see if she's into it and wants to sing again, and it definitely is one of her favorite songs on the album. I think she enjoyed being a part of the video. Every time we watch it, she says, "Again." As my test audience, I think it's going pretty well.
There's a lot of drama leading up to the finale for "Flipping Out." What can you tell us about the final episode?
In the finale, we will be meeting the surrogate for Jeff and Gage. It's very exciting. There's a little bit of, what I like to call, interfamily drama with (housekeeper) Zoila (Chavez) and Gage. But we go through those seasons. All of us are a family, so sometimes you're fighting with someone in your family, and that's been eight years of our show. But I think it's a great season finale. There's a lot packed into one episode with a few surprises, one of which being the world premiere of "Poo in the Potty."
As a working mother, there are times that I say, "I want to be with her, but there are other people that are enriching her life, and that is so amazing to watch."
Have you given any parenting advice to Jeff and Gage?
There are actually some funny clips about that. I don't think Jeff ever thought he would turn to me for parenting advice, but I guess I hung in there in his estimate. He really has fallen in love with getting to know Alianna—(both) Jeff and Gage. I think it's been exciting for them, seeing that. And then for their own journey, I just tell him to stop listening to all the negativity. A lot of feedback he receives is: "Your life's over. It's horrible. You'll never sleep again. Your relationship will never be the same." I'm not going to deny that some of those things don't have truth to them, but I choose to focus on what it's brought to my life and my husband's, and you can't even explain how wonderful it is.
It's perception. Once you're in it, you see it in a much different way. I just keep telling him, "It's OK to be scared, and you will figure it out," and, "It's hard, and you will feel like a failure, but that's OK because if you just trust your instincts, and you're connected when you're able to be with your child, I think that's very important."
How do you balance all of your work with being a mom?
Any mother reading this will agree, you don't. You just do your best. It's just trying to take a deep breath every day and get what you can done, and realize that you're not always going to get it right but not to focus on that necessarily. As a working mother, there are times that I say, "I want to be with her, but there are other people that are enriching her life, and that is so amazing to watch, so I feel like, I am her mother, but she also has lovely people in her life that love and adore and care for her, and it's making her a well-rounded little individual.
Talk about parenting and criticism and what you're doing wrong—if you even start to entertain that, you're buried.
What are your potty-training tips?
My tips are: Watch the video for "Poo in the Potty." I'm trying to get a little bit more understanding of her routine. I haven't adopted the whole stay-at-home, "locked away for three days with no diaper" approach. I've heard about that, but I'm easing her into it.
I do believe I will turn to bribery, which includes candy and treats, but the good news is that she's not afraid of the potty, and that's what I wanted to accomplish with this video.
What are some other challenges to having a toddler?
Even with the pacifier, she still has it. I've obviously received criticism. There's two sides to that. My dentist said his kids had it until they were 5 and that he would rather pay for braces than therapy.
David Beckham recently defended his choice to let his 4-year-old daughter Harper use a pacifier. What are your thoughts on that?
That's absolutely right. I agree with him. People are very big into judgment and not into solution or not into understanding. They just want to criticize.
Talk about parenting and criticism and what you're doing wrong—if you even start to entertain that, you're buried. To go back to the advice I gave to Jeff, I said, "Run your own race." With David Beckham, he knows his child, that's absolutely accurate, but people want to just get in there and judge. And with social media, it's a way to do that anonymously. I think it's important we combat that with great messages about fun in parenting, not taking yourself too seriously yet having boundaries, having schedules, having routine.
Do you have advice for moms who want flip a house for extra income?
Well, I've learned from the best. Jeff always is big on knowing comps [comparable housing prices] in the neighborhood, so do your research. It's almost like playing Vegas a little, you never know. I would say, if you're buying a home, and if it's your first toe in, start smaller in a neighborhood where you're going to be able to save some to actually do the renovation and not spend it all on the purchase.
Do the math, take your budget into consideration. Map it out so that you feel good about this investment and it's not just an impulse "I think I can do this."
What's your dream rap collaboration?
I would love to do something with Snoop Dogg. And (Korean rapper) G-Dragon. Look him up.